Kejal Vyas, one of my best journalism students at Rutgers-Newark, in Newark, N.J., was in Delhi completing some academic work when he received this Feb. 1 e-mail from Nancy Sharkey, senior editor/recruiting for The New York Times, responding to his inquiry about an internship:
"Hi Kejal, Based on what Allan Wolper has written about us, I cannot imagine that he would want one of his students to intern here. I guess if we need students from New Jersey, we will go elsewhere. Best, Nancy."
Well, maybe the offending professor is some kind of right-wing propagandist? I could understand if NYT wouldn't want an aspiring Rush Limbaugh interning with them. What kind of uncouth criticisms did Wolper unleash upon that eminent publication?
If the Times had [complained to E&P], I might know which of the columns or articles I had written about them in past years had caused them to look elsewhere for interns. Here is a summary of some of them:
-- A column detailing how the Times published a huge ad in the sports section promoting Crestor, a cholesterol drug, on the same day they ran a much smaller front page story on its serious side effects.
-- A column that questioned whether the Times Co.'s $100 million stake in the Boston Red Sox had anything to do with its weak coverage of the steroid issue in baseball.
-- An article in Columbia Journalism Review followed by a column in E&P disclosing that the Times gave a reporter covering the CIA permission to write a book that was edited, in part, by the secret agency.
-- A column last week pointing out that for 14 months the Times had obscured the fact that one of its sports writers was a central figure in a messy sexual harassment suit against Madison Square Garden.
None of that sounds particularly ideological to me, except maybe the CIA story. The common thread (ironically, or perhaps prophetically) is Editorial Integrity, Lack Of.
Which makes it all the sadder that they rejected Wolper's intern. They might have learned something from him.
(And why does the New York Times have a $100 million investment in the Red Sox? Does the Washington Post own a piece of the Cowboys?)